Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Planning Manager Tim Kelly emails a weekly GR Forward update to the project Steering Committee. Here's this week's communication:
Happy Halloween Everyone:
Hope you are finishing a great week.
A reminder that our Open House is maintaining regular hours from 3p – 7p every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. If you have not had a chance to stop down, we would love to see you. I am also happy to report we have scheduled a number of events in the space for the next couple of weeks. Among them, a presentation by Chase Bank on their Downtown Spending Analysis (flyer attached), an event with the Chamber of Commerce’s Outpro, MAP, and CCL groups, and a meeting with the Convention and Arena Authority’s Community Inclusion Group. We are looking forward to hosting all these groups!
In addition to the Open House, our speaker series has also been fully scheduled. I mentioned our first event coming up on November 20 last week, but over the past few days we have received confirmation on the remaining dates and speakers. Below is the list of the speakers and themes, and we will be sure to send on more promotional materials once they are finalized. We think we have a great lineup, and are really looking forward to the exciting conversations and insights that will arise as a result of these events.
- Nov 20 – Jen Keesmaat, Chief of Planning for Toronto. “Bold Vision in Planning” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7bkl6gFq04
- Dec 4 – Don Edwards, Principal of Justice and Sustainability Associates. “Economic Development and Equity” - http://www.channel3000.com/news/opinion/28031816
- Jan 15 – Theresa Reno-Weber, Director of Performance and Innovation, Louisville. “Performance Based Governance” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ll4AWZHO2w
- Feb 12 – Peter Kageyama – Author, For the Love of Cities. “Welcoming Civic Love through Open Engagement” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K7OKw_rSz0
- Mar 12 – Dan Biederman – Founder, Bryant Park Partnership. “Driving Vibrancy in the Public Realm” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FSyY0EOzBU
Another busy week on presentation circuit. Again, if anyone has suggestions for meetings that we can attend please let me know.
- City of Walker
- JW Marriot Management Team
- City of Kentwood
The website continues to get heavy traffic, though the social media activity has slowed a bit. As always, be sure to share the links below with anyone that might be interested so we can continue to promote GR Forward.
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/grfwd
Twitter - https://twitter.com/grfwd
Instagram - http://instagram.com/grfwd#
In addition to the videos linked above, I thought this article about the social life of small urban places, which profiles the classic book by William Whyte of the same name, was really interesting: http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/08/22/the-social-life-of-small-urban-spaces-whyte/
The book and article outline a method for trying to find a deeper understanding of cities and the way we inhabit them. Specifically, it looks at why some city spaces work for people and others do not, all in the hope of living better, more joyful lives in an urban environment.
As always, if you have any questions please let me know. Otherwise, have a great weekend.